Friday, January 13, 2012

Donating My Hair

I've mentioned before that I grew my hair out for nearly 4 years. I started growing it for my wedding and then afterwards, I kept growing it because I wanted to donate it to a worthy cause. It only seemed right that somebody else should benefit from my hard work. I didn't want to "waste" my hair by chopping it off and throwing it away.

I decided early on that I wanted to donate my hair to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program.  Unlike other programs, Pantene provides free real-hair wigs to women with cancer. I was appalled to learn that another popular program actually charges patients for their wigs.

Providing wigs to women with cancer is a cause dear to my heart because my grandma is a cancer survivor. She battled breast cancer and lost her hair. I remember her wearing turbans throughout her battle. Having a wig can help a cancer patient feel confident in a time of unease.

Pantene requires that your hair be at least 8 inches long, which is why I had to keep growing my hair. It must be free of permanent color, bleach or other chemical treatments such as Japanese straightening. I haven't colored my hair in years even though I'm dying to cover up the gray that keeps appearing. It must also be no more than 5% gray.

I made it my goal to cut off my hair for my 30th birthday. This gave me a target to work for even when I was sick of my hair and just wanted it gone. Last Saturday was finally the day.

The Before
The night before, I washed my hair and dried it without using any styling products. This way, we could cut off my ponytail and it could go right into the bag.

My stylist cut off the ponytail and then gave me a new hairstyle based on some pictures I had shown her. Already my head felt lighter.

The After
I am so happy with the way my new style turned out. It's been very strange not having all that hair, but I know I'll get used to it soon. Washing it has been a breeze and I can actually blow-dry it quickly now. And if I miss it, I can always grow it out again and donate more hair.

My ponytail ready to go
Now I just have to put my ponytail in a padded envelope and mail it off to Pantene. I hope somebody is as happy with my hair as I was.

All pictures by my wonderful friend Liz who came with me to document and lend moral support.


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